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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  January 20, 2018 4:30pm-5:01pm GMT

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as turkish air strikes are ordered. the move is likely to cause tensions with the united states. north korea will send 22 athletes to compete in three sports at the winter olympics in south korea in february. north and south korea agreed a breakthrough deal earlier this month in the first high—level talks in two years. now on bbc news — dateline london. hello, and a very warm welcome to dateline london, i'mjane hill. this week we are looking at new relations between france and the uk — we ask whether germany's mrs merkel will get a deal to form a government and remain chancellor, and again we will be discussing iran's current ambitions. my guests this week: mina al oraibi, the editor of the abu dhabi—based
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the national, the times columnist david aaronovitch, the author, thomas kielinger of germany's die welt, and marc roche, former london correspondent of le monde, who now writes for the magazine le point. welcome to you all. let's discuss france and britain, first. emmanuel macron came on his first official visit to britain this week. among the agreements reached between the french president and british prime minister? theresa may committed to spending an extra £41; million on border security in calais. france said they would lend us the bayeux tapestry in a few years' time. with brexit inevitably the backdrop to this meeting, mr macron said the two countries were making a new tapestry together. see what he did there? marc — what did you make of this meeting, a new "entente cordiale"? how did you read it? well, the bayeux tapestry, you give a big gift for love, they say,
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french and a small gift forfriendship. it symbolised this meeting, better military cooperation, better arrangement on calais. and fights against terrorism. the background was brexit. president macron was very clear. the usual british tactic is divide to rule, the eu is united. and for financial service, you want to access the single market, you pay for it, you accept free movement. and you accept the court ofjustice. of course, that is unacceptable for the brexiteers in her government. let's hope that after that agreement, president macron — he's not hostile to the city, he is a former banker — let's hope he will accept a bespoke agreement which is neither canada, not norway,
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something new, so we can turn the page of brexit. he's not hostile to the city, but plenty of people have sat round this table in the last few weeks somewhat chuckling at the way that france is trying to encourage british financial institutions to relocate to beautiful paris. absolutely. france isn't the only one, frankfurt is doing that, amsterdam, dublin. the problem is, very few institutions will leave the city because in the end, london can continue to be financing europe, although being out of the eurozone and being out of brexit. i don't think that will be the problem. but, you know, of all the capitals, why not paris? put a few banks there. thomas. a nice french perspective. but to go back to the bayeux tapestry, it is a divisionary tactic by france. he plays on this predilection for history in england, 1066 and all that — everyone knows not
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we're not worrying about 1066, we are talking about 2019, 2021, that is the salient point to discuss. so why this bayeux tapestry thing? and marc is quite right, the biggest conundrum is continuing to operate... 80% of british economic output is invested in financial services. yes. to have that all cut off, i wonder what price britain will continue to pay or want to pay, in order to preserve this big advantage? at the moment, it looks pretty much impossible. if you leave the union, the eu, you can't operate in the eu without passporting rights. so how do you solve this conundrum? macron didn't help. he kept saying, in accordance with position of jean—claude juncker and donald tusk, you can't cherry pick — if you leave, you leave — but i wonder if there is wiggle room. the eu is in need of money, and britain leaving will leave them destitute of
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a big slice of money. if britain were to continue to want to pay into the coffers of the eu, which is a small price anyway, considering the huge advantage of the financial markets for the british economy, might not brussels reconsider this absolute adamant position? no, impossible. if britain is willing to cough up 11 billion euros every year... there are the red lines of mrs may — no court of justice. she has said it... and emmanuel macron has given an interview to the bbc this week, and reiterating exactly the point that you are both making. we are still a couple of months away from the final deal. and i predict certain u—turns here or there, both in brussels and london, in order to not come to a cliff edge resolution of the brexit issue, which would be catastrophic for britain. what was interesting
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about macron's visit, is that in addition to brexit and the single market future, there was this focus on the bilateral relationship that we speak less of now. so the importance of france's relationship with the uk, and whether that is military support. britain saying they will support france's efforts in africa, not having troops on the ground but actually sending helicopter support and airsupport is quite important, to show that there are areas we will work together on. so i think the tone was important at this meeting, how can we get beyond the bickering and being angry at the fact that brexit is happening? and trying to find points of convergence. and on the bayeux tapestry, what i think is important is looking at macron, how he's forging his presidency and diplomacy. the use of cultural diplomacy. in abu dhabi we have
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seen that, the louvre, ten years in the planning coming to the fore. also, his focus on the french language, and wanting to project france's position. we see different western countries, whether it's the uk, the us and germany in a pickle. france is saying we are here, strong, we will project our presence. that's interesting — did you read it that way, the visit, david? probably not the first to have coined the term "macronise". probably someone else did it as well. we were "macronised". what does that mean? cultural diplomacy? certainly cultural diplomacy. macron understands what a lot of british people have forgotten, that we live in an inter—dependent world. that interdependency won't stop if we leave the european union, it carries on. he has an idea about how the world might be shaped in the period after that happens.
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and there are certain things that britain and france need to do together in that world. it would be a good thing to have good long—term relationships with britain. but the other thing they emphasised, which is really sad for me, as a british person, it symbolised the loss of british influence in the world. it really did. yes, of course, they want good relationships with us, etc, but there is emanuel macron, maybe because angela merkel has done her 12 years, and we will come back to her later, there might be another german leader. he will be shaping the continent and the world and we won't be. that was brought home to me. we will get the bayeux tapestry to remind ourselves, because we have decided as a country... and we have always been prone to this, to live with one foot in the past always. the french have been prone to this as well quite often. the germans, with very good reasons, have made asundering with the past. but we face a situation and a future whereby we won't be able to exert
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anything like so much influence about what happens. it's interesting, you take us neatly onto our next point, you mentioned angela merkel. this is a really fascinating weekend in that regard. sunday is a crucial day for german politics and, some argue, for eu stability more broadly. delegates from the social democrats, the spd, will vote on whether to enter formal coalition talks with chancellor merkel‘s bloc. nearly four months after the country's election, angela merkel has still not managed to form a government and many in the spd are anxious about entering another coalition, given their vote was eroded in september, after four years as thejunior partner. thomas, martin schulz has been travelling the country trying to sell the idea. trying to rally the support in the run—up to sunday's vote. you have given a good introduction into the problems, the spd, wondering
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whether they will continue in government with merkel and they might disappear from the screen as it were as an independent political identity. actually, looking at germany now, if she was an ongoing concern, business, it would be time to issue a profit warning, frankly, about the health of their political culture. because the problem the conservative party has, merkel and her cohorts, they have gradually destroyed conservatism in germany for the purpose of forming coalitions. getting more and more left wing, left of centre ideas on board to the extent that nowadays you rather have a situation where there's very little difference between the two major parties. one of the reasons we keep returning such indistinct election results is that people cannot differentiate between these two parties. they have become so much a mishmash of general ideas. the conservative party has become somewhat left of centre. the punishment is there. they scored 33% in the election.
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they are about to disappear, already down to 20. latest polls say they are sinking evermore. the country is at a standstill, politically. it seems that there's nobody left to want to govern germany in a sense. on the other hand, she is being administered perfectly well. the economy is growing and expanding. people don't feel the absence of a government in their daily lives at all. which is probably an indictment against, why do we need politicians in the first place when the administrators are doing the job so well for themselves? schools are being taught, taxes are being collected. and all the other efficiencies that modern states have are in place. it is a profit warning. germany is needed for future decisions to be taken about europe. france wants germany to be there. what you need, really, is a very strong germany for europe. at the moment, emmanuel macron is
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taking all of the weight of europe because he is saying we need to speed... but europe doesn't want to have all this agenda taken by brexit. there are other things, refugees, the crisis in the eurozone, that could come back. there's the question of poland, there's the question of defence. there is a question of foreigners first and all that. at the moment it is all blocked, the main country is blocked politically. there is urgency for a government in germany. whether it is weak or strong, it doesn't matter. you called for a strong one, that is the point, i don't think you will see one emerge in the nearfuture. it will be viable in certain functions, economic and otherwise, but it won't be in a position to really represent the country as a whole because there is such a wrangling going on between the two main parties.
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this could be called kielinger's paradox, suggesting germans want change but they don't want any change. they want politicians to suggest change without any reality of change, because actually their lives are fairly good. the danger for europe and for others out of germany in the last 30 years has essentially not been any kind of extremism but has been a retreat by germany into parochialism. stop the world, i want to get off! yeah. as long as industry is working, as long as we have good employment and so on, we don't want to get too much involved in the business of how things are structured. the paradox is, though some people in britain would hate it, it is required that germany does step up to a leadership role in europe. the economy. you can't take all the benefits of the economy of the european union and then say, but we're going to leave the business of how europe
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is going to be to be to others. that is one of the fears, there is a complacency, well, the economy is doing fine, we don't need a government. it is complacency, to have weak leadership and weak government. it is not ok. after a while it starts to erode structure that people now think just ticked on as normal and that's not true. even if angela merkel is able to form this coalition and they go ahead with the government, people are already talking about possibly the need for early elections in two yea rs. if they have a government that is perceived as weak and unstable you will have elections within two years, it is hard to make long—term decisions. we take for granted the fact that we have had merkel around since 2005. 12 years! four british prime ministers later and she is still here. the idea that stability... what do i perceive to be the development? there will come a time when people are so fed up with the traditional parties that there will be an emergence of a new party like in france. macron showed it. austria had a similar development.
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the current powers that be no longer deliver the goods, frankly. as you say, people coast long, and all of the traditional sort of activities of daily life are not impaired, you have a sense that your country is not pulling its weight on the world stage. but that is divided between west and east. east with afd, the extreme right wing, which is a new problem in germany. fascinating, the vote is on sunday. if that goes through it needs to go to wider membership. there is a long way to go and we will certainly be talking about that again. let's move further afield. the head of iran's revolutionary guards, mohammad ali jafari, declared this week that he can now drive from tehran via baghdad all the way to beirut, which shows how successful iran's involvement in iraq and syria has been. mina, what's happening here?
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that's quite a boast, he was boasting. quite a frustration for ordinary citizens that would never feel safe to go from tehran by car on that journey. all the lives that have been lost but also all of the fears, whether it's kidnapping, intimidation, if anyone else tried to make a similar route. that says something that they control, the iranian revolutionary guard, throough themselves or proxies, the militias they support that they can clear the roads for them. it is very worrying. we talk about the importance of nation and government. if you have a leader of an armed wing in iran saying they can traipse through these arab countries with very little push back it is hugely concerning. this idea of a corridorfrom iran all the way to the borders of israel were things that people would talk about five or six years ago, nonsense, conspiracy theorists of the arab world, but they have made that happen.
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partly because of the fight against isis, which was important. the defeat of isis was very important for the people who suffered under them and also for the world to move forward. but at what cost in terms of what comes in its place? the vacuum should be filled by the national army in iraq but in syria, the problem continues to fester. while iranian troops or militias can go through syria and into beirut, what state have we left syria in? whether it is the turks bombing from the air certain areas, the russian continued air campaign and a lack of clarity to how syria can be put back together. increasingly worrying. we talk about elections and coalitions forming, we see what is happening in iraq at the moment. as we look to the elections in may coming up. as you have different armed groups wanting to go into parliament and say that they are now valid, even though certain groups are considered terrorist organisations by the us
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and other entities. going forward, what the world really needs to pay attention to is if you are having these armed groups controlled out of tehran, what is the long—term strategic aim of iran? that raises eyebrows. and what does the long—term strategic alliance between iran and russia mean? if you want to proceed on this route without any hindrance all the way to beirut, it begs the question, what about the russians? do you have an ongoing policy agreement between those countries, what is the relationship between the two? it is a marriage of convenience between russia and iran and in large part in syria. the syrians have paid a heavy price for this. they continue to pay a heavy price for this. the russians don't want to see iraq and lebanon and syria weakened, and having iranians control that in the long term, their strategic aim is not to have a theocracy that calls
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for the exporting of the revolution that continues to be part of the constitution. long—term, you imagine they are going to hit. it would be convenient for russia to keep the president assad regime in check in syria. except for the russians, the main issue is now getting the european sanction out. by getting out of the region and concentrating on trying to solve ukraine and crimea and all of that, you can get the sanction out. election coming up for president putin, the economy is not doing well, oil and commodities are quite low. they want to get out of that. this struck me as classic hubris, i bet he would not drive with a big letter x on his car for a start. quite a few people would take him out from the air and would drone him as soon as look at him. secondly, during the recent iranian protests, one of the things that people were spontaneously protesting about was the amount of money and loss that was incurred by iran's
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adventures abroad and so on. there is the question about its sustainability at home. one tends to see iran purely as an external power but it has a very powerful set of internal politics, which acts as some kind of limitation to them as well. there were talks this week in brussels with the focus, again, as we discussed many times, but the focus very much on the nuclear deal. that is my point, that is where other nations are focused on that, perhaps to the exclusion of all else. european nations. yes. you are thinking the nuclear deal is nice and tidy if you are in that region. you rightly raise this point, saying that the nuclear deal alone fixes these problems is absolutely incorrect. that was one of the fatal mistakes of the obama administration, they were able to say that the nuclear deal is separate from these other dynamics. but where is the money coming to allow for this military might and
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the paying of militias? whether it is militia men from afghanistan, lebanon or iraq, largely that came from as the sanctions were being lifted from the nuclear deal. it is interconnected. the big question going forward, people want iran to stabilise but you have had this internal semi—revolt that was put down. where the eu's position on it was that there are some recent events in iran but let's talk about the nuclear deal. and not even putting out a voice to champion hundreds of people who are now in prison. because they went down to protest. it is important with the new regime in saudi arabia and the modernisation going on, that now saudi arabia is the only counterweight to iran. we should support them. i thought i would never say that! laughter. you should always qualify it when you do say it.
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but i think that saudi arabia is now the only counterpoint to iran. but i think a lot of arab countries in the region see the problems with iran's projection of military power. people say it is natural, iran is a large country to have influence. it is not influence, it is armed groups on the ground challenging people's ways of life. saudi arabia, yes, but you have a coalition of arab countries that are together, trying to figure out how they face this and we have the repercussions of that. whether it is the lebanon or iraq or yemen. yes. because military power is being used, you get pulled into all of these losses that people of the region suffered. you are right in that saudi arabia can be a counterweight, but they are not alone. many people want to say that as well. power in an area which is already suffering from huge instability, that is not going to lead to anywhere other than making it more unstable than it already is. any prediction about the middle east, there is so much emerging, so much
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embryonic situations. what kind of iraq are we going to see at the end of isis? what kind of syria will emerge? nobody has an answer. projecting military power into this cauldron is futile. to your point about syria... still huge activity on the border in turkey. huge. the continued flow of refugees, one of the pressing things is that you see very few people in europe talk about the refugee issue beyond saying this was a crisis that came to europe we have to push back. reality is that we have heard of a family of nine syrians freezing to death in lebanon because they've had no support. people have continued to die and suffer. this crisis continues to fester. turks also looking at close to 2 million, 1.5 million syrians there and their future is unclear. it is humanitarian
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and a security risk. and the prospect of turkey's military interventions getting stronger against the kurds. that could lead to another refugee crisis and another flow. and so on. it continues to fester. again, what you want to see, we talked about leadership. what we really required to see in the world is a greater degree of foresight and leadership amongst the west, and some of the other countries about how we're going to deal with this. it's been reactive. it's not europe, the middle east, the us is the only country that can do it. and at the moment the us is not there. i actually think that the uk and france and germany, they play a role but they are uninterested. partly because they are so caught up in brexit, but also thinking it is only for the us to play the role bust the vacuum isn't filled by us and europe, it will be filled by russia and iran and others. europe is afraid of the refugees, that is the main issue.
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all of the populist right wing and extreme right is coming from that. europe has a tendency to want to leave them in turkey which is not a solution. david is right in detecting a yearning for new leadership. why are these things becoming so popular? i am worried about the renaissance of nationalism. remember the kind of era in which he became a leader, it made him look strong. he was a fierce antagonist. do we want another churchill? do we want the re—emergence of that sort of power struggle that he faced? it is more difficult for a modern leader to burnish a profile because the world is so much in chaos. it is so unpredictable. he would not have known how to deal with these other problems we have been discussing for weeks and weeks. so i hedge my bets about new leadership. in the region we have very interesting new leadership,
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especially as mark mentioned. it is interesting to see how they see this need to open ——own what is going on in the region. there is a good topic for another dateline london. do we need another churchill? thank you to all of you. that's it for dateline london for now, we're back next week at the same time. thanks for watching. goodbye. hello. pretty disappointing weather this weekend for many quite a wintry mix. temperatures falling very
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quickly across the northern half of the country, more cloud in the south. this weather from the country, more cloud in the south. this weatherfrom moving in bringing up rates of rain and behind little and some mild air. through the night it is cold and clear across much of the north, further west the rain is moving in and turning into snow. ice will become a problem in northern ireland and wales. further east it is dry but cold. we will have the snow and ice on sunday morning, the central and northern areas and could be some disruption across parts of scotland throughout the whole day. the rain continues to move eastwards, snow over the high ground of the midlands for a time
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over the high ground of the midlands fora time and over the high ground of the midlands for a time and across the pennines and scotland but further south it reverts to rain. an improvement in northern ireland in the afternoon, brighter with some sunshine and just a few was less cold. but rather cold for scotland, quite a change from today after the wintry sunshine of today. for the south—west, today after the wintry sunshine of today. forthe south—west, heavy rain moves on about some very mild air, temperatures in double figures was further east it is misty and murky and cold. that will clue eastwards and something drier pushing in from the west. the mild theme stays with us for the coming week. a significant fall of any lying snow. a more mild week, very mild are claimed where you get sunny spells but spells of rain moving in
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from the atlantic and more quite windy. apart from some showers and western areas on monday we should see some good spells of sunshine, less cold than it has of late, certainly by tuesday. this is bbc news.
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the headlines at 5pm: the moment us senators voted to shut down the american national government — after failing to agree on spending. what we have just witnessed was a senate democrat decision. the blame should crash entirely on president trump's shoulders. britain could get a bespoke trade deal with the eu — says president macron. in return, he says, the uk would have to abide by single market rules. carillion's auditors are under fire for not raising concerns before the firm's collapse — and parliament launches an inquiry into the firm's pension deficit. turkey deploys tanks to shell kurdish fighters in northern syria — as turkish air strikes are ordered.


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